REVIEW: Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D-Episode 6-A Fractured House
Wow, family’s eh, who’d have them? This episode is very much a family affair, with character’s relatives past coming to the forefront.
After witnessing a foreboding alliance being stuck between cold and calculating HYDRA head, Doctor Whitehall and Skye’s (Chloe Bennet) unstable, most likely alien father, we see neither of these villains in this episode. But far from being a mere buffer episode, this installment sees Doctor Whitehall go on the war path, albeit not in person. Sending in his minions, HYDRA kill 6 world leaders at a UN conference and injure many others-impersonating S.H.I.E.L.D. They use the same flesh-disintegrating deadly alien weapon that Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) witnessed during her stint undercover at HYDRA, hinting that the technology maybe Doctor Whitehall’s favorite killing tool and the first step to stopping him would be to figure out how to combat that weapon.
General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) is naturally quick to parade S.H.I.E.L.D around as an enemy of the American people in his speeches to the press, as is the powerful and influential, Senator Ward. Yep, that’s right same surname as HYDRA agent and S.H.I.E.L.D traitor, Grant Ward ( Brett Dalton), currently imprisoned in Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team’s basement for his treachery. Coulson manages to sway Senator Ward into telling the world the truth about S.H.I.E.L.D’s innocence in exchange for handing over Ward, only for the plan to hugely backfire and Ward to escape while being transported to his brother’s custody.
This episode was great at keeping audiences swayed from one person’s side to another, with Ward, who has a track record of being a impostor and liar and his elder brother, whom Ward claims forced him from a young age to torture their youngest brother, Thomas. Senator Ward begs to differ saying he could never leave Thomas alone with Ward, who, according to the Senator was the one that tormented and tortured the youngest sibling. I’m pretty convinced Ward is the compulsive liar and slightly unhinged and delusional and have no doubt he is going to wreak havoc- especially with his elite skill set (he obsessively works out in his cell but maybe that’s more out of boredom) and knowledge of both HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m also betting big brother Ward is not to be trusted either but that the danger Ward poses dwarfs the problems his younger brother will cause.
Elsewhere, Skye learns from Ward that her mother is dead (why is it always the Dad in films and TV shows that seem to cause so much problems for their offspring?!) and he only murdered people because he loved Skye and thought he lost her along with her mother. This is believable, given that a few episodes ago Skye found a photo of a young man lovingly holding a baby while investigating her father’s flat, and makes you feel a shred of sympathy towards her father. But that soon evaporates. Skye also discovers her father didn’t murder a whole village of innocent people but enacted a mass killing of HYDRA agents, according to Ward.
Comedy stems from watching the bickering between ex-spouses agents Hunter (Nick Blood) and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), who make petty arguing look sexy like a scene from Mr and Mrs Smith, particularly when they simultaneously shoot a HYRDA agent in the middle of an amusing sharp and heated exchange. May also reveals she was married once, but as usual doesn’t divulge too much info and implies she has no contact with her former husband. I also found it entertaining to watch May (Ming Na Wen) fight- she seems completely undeterred when she gets strangled. Or kicked. Or punched. She’s just an epic fighter and her combat scenes are amazing.
Problems lie between friends as well as family, with Simmons admitting to Mack (Henry Simmons) she left to go undercover at HYDRA as she knew her presence with Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) at S.H.I.E.L.D was making him worse. It’s understandable how she would find it hard to cope with the new Fitz following his brain damage at the hands of Ward, but I really hope these two can work it out as they had a really endearing and uplifting dynamic last season.
With Ward now free and Doctor Whitehall and Skye’s father working in an alliance bound to make an appearance next episode, the next installment can only be a explosive one!